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Our Programs

Our Programs

Deaf Iowans Against Abuse empowers the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind to end domestic violence and sexual assault within the deaf community. DIAA provides prevention education to the community, as well as direct-advocacy to individuals and families.

Crisis Hotline

The crisis hotline is available 24/7 hours to provide immediate crisis counseling and support to deaf victims/survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault, their family, and friends in emotional distress. Call if you have an urgent situation, need more information, or would like to speak with an advocate.

One On One Peer Counseling

One on one visits with Advocates who provide victims and survivors with non-judgmental emotional support, validation of feelings, assistance with safety planning, and information about options and resources is available.

Housing Advocacy and Support

DIAA provides one on one help in locating housing for victim/survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. Advocates work with victims to assess and determine safe housing options and provide guidance, support, and referrals to community and landlord resources.

Prevention Education and Community Awareness

DIAA is available to share and educate about issues surrounding Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Teen Dating Violence, Stalking, Bullying and Deaf Culture for a variety of stakeholders to build safer communities. Additional topics such as dating violence, healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics, and basics of American Sign Language are included for community organizations, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments, schools, and businesses.


DIAA offers 24 hours advocacy services to provide information and support regarding options and rights with legal, medical, and social services systems. DIAA can provide support during medical exams, police interviews, lawyer appointments, or court appearances and can also help work with agencies related to employment, housing, education, child protection, law enforcement, child care, clergy, and transportation.

Community Education

DIAA provides culturally-competent training and support for those who interact with victims of crime to ensure they have full understanding of how to respond and best support victims and survivors who are Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind in Iowa. These trainings are free and available to any agency in Iowa who responds or work with victims and survivors.

For more training information contact Jennifer Upah-Kyes

Healthy Relationships, Communication, Respect


K-12 Prevention Education 

Bullying, Stalking, Teen Dating Violence, Self-Esteem, Cyber-Bullying


Bullying occurs when a child or teen experiences unwanted or aggressive behavior which involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying includes an action which can be making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, or purposely excluding someone from a group.

Bullying behaviors can include:

  • Unwelcome behavior as verbal abuse which can be in the form of name-calling, epithets, and slurs.
  • Electronic or written statements.
  • Threats
  • Physical assault
  • Anything that can be considered as physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating
  • Posting false information intending to harm or humiliate the person on social media.

Domestic Violence

Physical Abuse:
Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse.
Denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and or drug use upon him or her.
Emotional Abuse:
Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and or self-esteem is abusive.
Constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
Economic Abuse:
Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding her or his access to money, forbidding him or her from attend school or going to work.
Psychological Abuse:
Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends or school and or work.

Sexual Assault

Sexual abuse is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another.

The examples of sexual assault and abuse are:

  • Unwanted kissing or touching
  • Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Sexual contact with someone who is very drunk, drugged, unconscious or otherwise unable to give a clear and informed consent as of “yes” or “no”
  • Threatening or pressuring someone into unwanted sexual activity

Teen Dating Violence

Examples of Teen Dating Violence:

  • Control where you go, what you wear, or what you do.
  • Try to stop you from seeing or talking to family or friends
  • Call you names, put you down, or criticize you
  • Threaten or scare you
  • Hit, slap, push, or kick you
  • Force you to do something sexual when you don’t want to
  • Humiliate you on Facebook or in front of your friends
  • Keep you from getting a job or gets you fired
  • Cause you to feel depressed, unloved or not smart


  • Stalking is a behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
  • It is a crime in all 50 states because it is pervasive, dangerous, and potentially lethal.
  • Studies indicated approximately 3.4 million people are stalked each year in the United States.
  • Don’t treat stalking lightly; it is not a joke and is not romantic. It is a crime.
  • Anyone can be a victim; however women are more likely to be stalked than men.
  • Stalking often goes unnoticed because this behavior is not typically identified as criminal behavior.
  • Most victims do not report stalking to the authorities. The most common incidents involve intimate partner stalking.
  • Most of the victims know their stalker. The most common methods used by stalkers are phones, computers, GPS, and cameras.
  • Behaviors that may seem benign to you or me can be terrorizing to a stalking victim.
  • Stalking can impact your emotional, physical, economic well-being, and can be lethal.
  • Stalkers often access information about their victims through the internet.
  • There is a motto: “Know it. Name it. Stop it”.

Prevention Education for the Deaf Community 

Healthy Relationships, Communication, Respect
If you would like more information on training or a presentation relating to Prevention Education, please contact Kelsey

Substance Abuse

Know the signs of substance abuse:


  • Increased aggression or irritability
  • Changes in attitude/personality
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Sudden changes in a social network
  • Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities
  • Financial problems
  • Involvement in criminal activity


  • Decreased involvement in extracurricular activities
  • Loss of interest in work or school
  • Depression
  • Lack of interest in family or friends
  • Preoccupation with drinking
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to control drinking
  • Erratic behavior
  • Violent behavior

Suicide Prevention and Support

Elder Abuse